Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s daughter, Harshita, has slammed leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party who called her father a “terrorist” ahead of the February 8 assembly elections, defining the remark as a “new low in politics”. His wife, Sunita Kejriwal, also criticized the BJP – seeking a comeback in Delhi after two decades – as she said: “People will give them a befitting reply.”
“They say politics is dirty but this is a new low. Is it terrorism if health facilities are made free? Is it terrorism if children are educated? Is it terrorism if power and water facilities are ensured?” Harshita questioned, recounting Arvind Kejriwal stint as a chief minister.
BJP MP Parvesh Verma was the first to use the term for the Delhi Chief Minister on January 25, on the campaign trail. “We hear instances of Hindu women picked up by Muslim men… no action is taken as terrorists like Kejriwal are hidden everywhere. Should we fight with Pakistan terrorists in Kashmir or with terrorists like Kejriwal,” Parvesh Verma said.
He was talking about round-the-clock agitation at Shaheen Bagh, the heart of protests against Citizenship (Amendment) Act or CAA.
Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on Monday repeated the comment at a press conference. “There is a reason voters of Delhi have turned away from Arvind Kejriwal. Kejriwal makes an innocent face and asks – ‘am I a terrorist?’ — You are a terrorist, there is plenty of proof. You had yourself said you are an anarchist; there is not much difference between an anarchist and terrorist,” Mr Javadekar said.
On Tuesday, Harshita Kejriwal and her mother hit back at the BJP. “Let them level allegations, let them bring 200 MPs and 11 Chief Ministers. Not only us… two crore common people are also campaigning (for AAP). They will show them on February 11… whether they cast votes on the basis of allegations or work done (by the government),” Harshita told news agency ANI, adding that her father made her read Bhagavad Gita, an ancient text, when she was young.
Sunita Kejriwal echoed similar views. “I think people will give them (BJP leaders) a befitting reply. It’s been 25 years since we are married. He (Arvind) has always told social service is his passion. Those who are saying even they know are lying… either they are under some sort of pressure or they lack an individual identity,” she told ANI.
Earlier in the day, Arvind Kejriwal had raised a counter-question to jabs by BJP leaders. “In what way am I a terrorist? How can they label me a terrorist? I have dedicated my life to serve the people of Delhi. I have worked as their elder son. I have worked to ensure that they get free water, free electricity, get good facilities like schools and hospitals. Now it is for the people of Delhi to decide what I am,” the Chief Minister told NDTV.